Atlantic Fleet (United Kingdom)

The Atlantic Fleet was a major fleet formation of the Royal Navy. There have been two main formations in the Royal Navy officially called the Atlantic Fleet. The first was created in 1909 and lasted until 1914. The second lasted from 1919 until 1932.

Atlantic Fleet
Capital Ships of the Atlantic Fleet
Active1909–1914;1919–1932
Country United Kingdom
Branch Royal Navy
TypeFleet

History

On 14 December 1904 the Channel Fleet was re-styled the 'Atlantic Fleet'.[1] The Atlantic Fleet lasted until 1912 when rising tensions with Germany forced the Royal Navy to relook at fleet formations and the Atlantic Fleet became the 3rd Battle Squadron.[2] The Atlantic Fleet was based at Gibraltar to reinforce either the Channel Fleet or the Mediterranean Fleet, from January 1905 to February 1907. It remained at Gibraltar until April 1912.[3]

The Atlantic Fleet was again formed after the end of World War I, when British naval forces were reorganised to reflect the changed economic and political situation in Europe. The fleet was created upon the disbandment of the Grand Fleet in April 1919, absorbing many, but not all of its elements. It was placed under a Commander-in-Chief, who for part of that year held the title of Commander-in-Chief Atlantic and Home Fleets, before the Home Fleet became the Reserve Fleet and a totally separate command. HMS Queen Elizabeth became the Fleet's flagship and served in that capacity until 1924.[4]

The fleet never fought in a naval battle in its short history. The fleet's only point of note in history was in 1931, during the Invergordon Mutiny. Sailors of the fleet openly refused to obey orders over a dispute on pay sparked by the government at the time.[5] The fleet's short history ended in 1932, when the Admiralty having been shaken by the events of the Invergordon Mutiny, renamed the fleet, as the Home Fleet.[6]

Senior officers

Commanders-in-Chief Atlantic Fleet

Included:[8]
RankFlagNameTerm
Commander-in-Chief Atlantic Fleet (first formation) [9]
1Vice-AdmiralLord Charles Beresford31 December 1904 – 1 March 1905
2Vice-AdmiralSir William H. May1 March 1905 – 23 February 1907
3Vice-AdmiralSir Assheton Curzon-Howe23 February 1907 – 19 November 1908
4Vice-AdmiralPrince Louis of Battenberg19 November 1908 – 20 December 1910
5Vice-AdmiralSir John Jellicoe20 December 1910 – 19 December 1911
6Vice-AdmiralSir Cecil Burney19 December 1911 – July, 1914
Notes:The Fleet was commanded by the designated title of "Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic Fleet" between 1910-1912 the post was sometimes styled as "Vice-Admiral Commanding, Atlantic Fleet".
Included:[11]
RankFlagNameTerm
Commander-in-Chief Atlantic Fleet (second formation) [12]
1AdmiralSir Charles Madden8 April 1919 – 15 August 1922
2AdmiralSir John de Robeck15 August 1922 – 15 August 1924
3AdmiralSir Henry Oliver15 August 1924 – 15 August 1927
4AdmiralSir Hubert Brand15 August 1927 – 17 April 1929
5AdmiralSir Ernle Chatfield17 April 1929 – 27 May 1930
6Vice-AdmiralSir Michael Hodges27 May 1930 – 6 October 1931
7AdmiralSir John Kelly6 October 1931 – 1932

Rear-Admiral, Second-in-Command, Atlantic Fleet

The post of Rear=Admiral Second-in-Command, Atlantic existed during the first formation of the Atlantic Fleet from June 1904 to August 1912 the office was not reestablished during the fleets second formation.[13]

Commodore/Rear-Admiral (D) Commanding Destroyer Flotillas, Atlantic Fleet

Post holders included:[14]

RankFlagNameTerm
Commodore(D) Atlantic Fleet/Rear-Admiral (D) Commanding Destroyer Flotillas, Atlantic Fleet
1CommodoreReginald Y. TyrwhittDecember 1913 - 1914
fleet disbanded 1914 - 1919
2CommodoreHugh J.Tweedie1919 - May 1920
3Rear-AdmiralMichael H. HodgesMay 1920-July 1922
4Rear-AdmiralArthur K. WaistellJuly 1922-April 1923
5Rear-AdmiralSir George H.BairdApril 1923-September 1924
6Rear-AdmiralColin K. MacleanSeptember 1924–September 1926
7Rear-AdmiralWion de M. EgertonSeptember 1926-July 1928
8CommodoreRobin C. DalglishJuly 1928-August 1930
9CommodoreEdward O.B.S.OsborneAugust 1930-March 1932 continued as R.Adm (D) HF till July 1932.

Chief of Staff, Atlantic Fleet

Second Formation included [15]
RankFlagNameTerm
Chief of Staff, Atlantic Fleet
1Rear-AdmiralMichael H.HodgesApril 1919 - May 1920 [16]
2Commodore 1st ClassCyril T. M. Fuller1 May 1920 – 14 August 1922[17]
2Rear-AdmiralWilliam W. Fisher14 August 1922 – 14 August 1924 [18]
3Rear-AdmiralArthur J. Davies14 August 1924 – October 1927 (initially-Cdre, 1.Cls)[19]
4Rear-Admiralthe Hon.Matthew R.BestOctober 1927 – December 1927[20]
5CommodoreGeoffrey BlakeDecember 1927 – April 1929 [21]

Components

First formation

Distribution of the Fleet first formation included:[22]
UnitDateNotes
12nd Cruiser SquadronJanuary 1905 – March 1909replaced by 5th CSQ [23]
25th Cruiser SquadronMarch 1909 – April 1912[24]
3Atlantic Fleet Flotilla1906–1907no destroyers after 1907 [25]
48 battleshipsJanuary 1905 – March 1909distributed [26]
47 pre-dreadnoughtsMarch 1909 – April 1912distributed [27]

Second formation

Distribution of the Fleet second formation included:[28]
UnitDateNotes
11st Battle Squadron1919 – November 1924re-titled 2nd BS [29]
22nd Battle Squadron1919 – May 1924absorbed into 1st BS [30]
33rd Battle SquadronMarch 1926 – May 1930ex Mediterranean Fleet [31]
4Battlecruiser Squadron1919 – September 1936to Med, 4.39-returned to Home Fleet [32]
5Aircraft Carriers1919 – September 1931 [33]
6Aircraft Carrier SquadronSeptember 1931 – 1932 [34]
71st Light Cruiser Squadron1919 – November 1924to Mediterranean Fleet [35]
82nd Light Cruiser Squadron1919–1920re-designated 2nd CSQ [36]
92nd Cruiser Squadron [37]1920–1932[38]
101st Destroyer Flotilla1919 – April 1925[39]
102nd Destroyer Flotilla1919 – November 1924to Mediterranean Fleet [40]
113rd Destroyer Flotilla1919 – August 1923to Mediterranean Fleet [41]
124th Destroyer Flotilla1919 – August 1923to Mediterranean Fleet [42]
135th Destroyer Flotilla1919 – April 1925to Mediterranean Fleet as 1DF [43]
146th Destroyer Flotilla1919–1921absorbed 8th DF [44]
157th Destroyer Flotilla1925 – August 1928[45]
168th Destroyer Flotilla1925 – August 1927to China Station [46]
179th Destroyer Flotilla1925 – August 1927absorbed 7th DF [47]
181st Submarine Flotilla1919–1927Rosyth Command to 1926 then to Nore Command till 1927 [48]
192nd Submarine Flotilla1919–1924Plymouth Command to 1924, after to FO, Malta [49]
203rd Submarine Flotilla1919–1927Portsmouth Command to 1922 Plymouth Command till 1927 then to 2nd SF [50]
215th Submarine Flotilla1919–1932Portsmouth Command [51]
226th Submarine Flotilla1919–1932FO, Portland [52]

References

  1. National Archives records
  2. "Navy Estimates 1912-13". Hansard. Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  3. Smith, Gordon. "Royal Navy Organisation and Ship Deployments 1900-1914". www.naval-history.net. Gordon Smith, 8 August 2015. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  4. "HMS Queen Elizabeth". Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  5. "The Invergordon Mutiny". Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  6. "Home Fleet listing for 1933". Archived from the original on 26 October 2009. Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  7. Watson, Dr Graham. "Royal Navy Organisation and Ship Deployments 1900-1914: January 1904-February 1907". www.naval-history.net. Graham Smith. 8 August 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  8. Senior Royal Navy Appointments Archived 15 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  9. Government, H.M. (October 1913). "Flag Officers - Vice Admirals". The Navy List. H.M. Stationery Office. p. 87.
  10. Watson, Dr Graham. "Royal Navy Organisation and Ship Deployments 1900-1914: January 1904-February 1907". www.naval-history.net. Graham Smith. 8 August 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  11. Whitaker's Almanacks 1919–1932
  12. Government, H.M. (October 1913). "Flag Officers - Vice Admirals". The Navy List. H.M. Stationery Office. p. 87.
  13. Harley, Simon; Lovell, Tony. "Atlantic Fleet (Royal Navy) - The Dreadnought Project". dreadnoughtproject.org. Harley and Lovell, 18 July 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  14. Mackie, Colin (July 2018). "Royal Navy Senior Appointments from 1865" (PDF). gulabin.com. C. Mackie. p. 215. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  15. Harley, Simon; Lovell, Tony. "Atlantic Fleet (Royal Navy) - The Dreadnought Project". dreadnoughtproject.org. Harley and Lovell, 18 July 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  16. Mackie, Colin (January 2019). "Royal Navy Senior Appointments from 1865" (PDF). gulabin. C. Mackie. p. 134. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  17. Mackie RN Appointments p.134
  18. Mackie RN Appointments p.134
  19. Mackie RN Appointments p.134
  20. Mackie RN Appointments p.134
  21. Mackie RN Appointments p.134
  22. Watson, Dr Graham. "Royal Navy Organisation and Ship Deployments 1900-1914". www.naval-history.net. Gordon Smith, 8 August 2015. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  23. Watson. 2015
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  27. Watson. 2015
  28. Watson, Dr Graham. "Royal Navy Organisation and Ship Deployment, Inter-War Years 1919-1939". www.naval-history.net. Gordon Smith, 2 September 2015. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  29. Watson. 2015
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